Ashland High boys, girls wrap up district tennis titles

The Ashland High boys and girls tennis teams both wrapped up District 4 titles Friday at the Eugene Swim and Tennis Club.

The Ashland girls, who edged Churchill 31-30 to grab their second league title in four years, were led by singles player Lara Soliz-Urquizu and the doubles team of Chloe Deckwar and Katie Patton.

Soliz-Urquizu rebounded from a hard-fought semifinal loss to defeat Kalena Pinkston of Klamath Union in the third-place match, 7-6 (6), 6-4, a victory that secured Ashland's outright team title.

"That was a heartbreaker for (Soliz-Urquizu) to lose that (semifinal match)," Ashland girls tennis coach Kim Rooklyn said, "but then less than an hour later she had to play in the third-place match and I was really impressed with how well she pulled herself together and played so mentally tough."

Deckwar and Patton routed Thurston's Megan Raleigh and Kailey Moss in the semis before losing in the finals to Callyn and Nicole Adkisson in the championship match.

On the boys side, Ashland all but clinched its first District 4 title since the league was formed in 2007 on Tuesday, when three doubles teams and one singles player earned semifinal berths for the Grizzlies. On Friday, Quincy Briscoe settled for fourth after losing the third-place singles match to Jesse Diamond of Thurston, 1-6, 6-0, 6-4, and Ashland's top doubles team, Josh Harris and Min-oh Suh, lost in the championship match to top-seeded Connor Horne and Matt Walker of Churchill, 6-1, 6-1.

Friday's losses didn't dampen the Grizzlies' celebration, according to AHS boys head coach Dick Streng.

"We were pretty happy today," he said. "There was a lot of big smiles when they were all wearing their medals and holding that trophy."

The district semifinalists advance to next week's state tournament. The girls will play at the Portland Tennis Center and the boys will be at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center. Both tournaments begin Thursday morning.

College Track and Field

The Southern Oregon men came away with an NAIA provisional qualifying mark in the 4x100 relay to highlight the Raiders' second day at the Cascade Conference track and field championships at Mt. Hood Community College at Portland.

SOU's Josh Denson, Brandon Ritchie, Dennis Olstedt and Kwame Agyemang won the event in 42.36 seconds, which ranks as the fifth-fastest time in school history and is the first relay conference championship on the men's side for SOU since 2005.

In the team race, Concordia has virtually locked up the team titles on both the men's (127 points) and women's (161) side. The SOU men sit in second place with 87.5 points and the SOU women sit in fourth with 47 points. Southern Oregon has come away with three titles and nine all-conference honors in the first two days.

Agyemang and Olstedt also had big days in their individual events.

Agyemang won the 100 in 10.90, while Ritchie finished sixth in 11.33. Olstedt finished second in the 110 hurdles in 15.30 to claim all-conference honors. In the women's 100 hurdles, Chenin Young finished fourth (15.62) and Amy Nelson finished seventh (17.12).

Senior Rosie Converse broke the 4,000-point mark in the heptathlon for the first time in her career to earn all-conference honors with a third-place finish. Converse finished with 4,068 points, which is the fifth-most in school history. Converse will have to wait until Monday to see if that total is good enough to qualify her for the NAIA national championships.

Junior Seth Lindquist earned all-conference honors in the long jump with a third-place finish and a leap of 22-feet, 33/4 inches. Young finished seventh in the long jump with a leap of 15-6.

Senior Levi Roudebush just missed out on all-conference honors in the 1,500 with a fourth-place finish in a time of 3:55.00.

In the men's steeplechase, James Johnstone scored an NAIA automatic mark and all-conference honors with a second-place finish and a time of 9:28.83. Teammate Colin McRoberts finished sixth in 10:07.33.

In the women's steeplechase, Kelly Clark finished fifth with a time of 11:54.43.

In the women's hammer, Katie Higgins finished sixth (123-4) and Tamara Beardsley finished eighth (116-8) and in the men's 400, Alex Waroff finished fifth in 50.15 and Olstedt finished seventh in 50.53. Denali Cox finished fifth in the women's 100 with a time of 12.94.

The league championships wrap up this afternoon.

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